While the territory needs development, it must be fair and transparent, Governor John deJongh told approximately 100 St. Thomas and St. John business leaders at the St. Thomas/St. John Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting at the Westin Resort and Villas on Friday, May 18.
“We want development that is fair and economically-based, and goes through a process where everyone knows what is going on,” deJongh said holding up a recently published full page Enighed Condominium LLC-paid advertisement touting the Sirenusa project.
Advertising Doesn’t Change Bad Development
“It doesn’t matter how many full page ads you take out, a bad development is still a bad development,” said the governor.
The territory has harsh fiscal realities with millions of dollars of government and public debt, deJongh explained.
“Our government has not done its job for a while,” said deJongh. “We have millions in retroactive pay owed to employees, deplorable conditions in our public schools, and we’ve ignored the numbers game with respect to budgeting.”
“This has to change,” he continued. “We must deal with current and real realities. We must rationalize government and rationalize government behavior.”
Norfleet Elected as St. John Director
The chamber also announced new leadership positions. Thomas Brunt, owner of MSI, is the chamber’s new president and Randolph Knight, owner of Knight Comm-unications, is the new vice president.
Kate Norfleet was elected as the St. John director, replacing outgoing Love City director Jose Penn. It was a historical election for the chamber, which is celebrating its 80th birthday, explained St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joe Aubain.
“After this election we have more women than ever as our directors in the history of the chamber,” Aubain said.